“Randomness… goes against the human grain. What we want is certainty. When that goes away, we connect the dots with another glue: anxiety.”
That was a quote from San Diego-based psychiatrist Dr. David Reiss, quoted in a piece from CNN Journalist Todd Leopold, in his latest piece That Was The Week From Hell (Read Story Here).
He hits the nail on the head, that we humans are not made to thrive on uncertainty and cannot survive living in a world where we don’t know what can happen from one day to the next. And the most amazing thing is that we Americans are pretending last week was unusual for this country, but if we look at the amount of stress we put ourselves under, the amount of people who are on pills for anxiety, depression or some other sort of medication, it’s obvious we are living in a state of constant crises in America.
Years ago, they asked the current Dalai Lama who would be his successor, since his country was now part of China. He’s talked quite a bit about the subject, hinting that the next Dalai Lama would come from the West, may in fact be a female or even at times, has hinted that he might actually be the last leader of Buddhism as we know it.
I think he’s on to something. When you look at how this country (and most first-world countries) live, we’re all in a state of constant fear of losing jobs we don’t even like, being trapped in a marriage that is sucking the life out of us, getting too sick to be able to work enough to afford the illness or being unable to make our next car or house payment. We hear constant news stories that one neighbor wants to rob us, the other one is a gun-nut and the guy down the street wants to molest our children.
Meanwhile we’re being told that animals are being tortured to make our food, humans are being mistreated to cater to our basic needs, and even our fruit, those things that are supposed to be the most healthy things on this earth, are packed full of pesticides.
We worry about if we will be able to afford an old-folks home for our parents, if our kids are receiving an adequate education and we don’t even know if it is safe to go to work, or the mall, or a movie any more. We here, in the West, are in need of our own Dalai Lama if we’re ever going to survive in the world we’ve created. I just don’t think the way we’ve been doing it, our Capitalism mixed with our Religious Ferocity, are going to cut it for much longer.
I suppose we can sit here and say thank god that week is over, but when you stop and think about what our day-to-day and week-to-week lives are like in the 21st century, I think the only real difference, is that our fears were being televised when normally we can just pretend they aren’t really there.
I find it fascinating that in the world we live in, that we can sometimes sit back and take a sigh of relief and say everything went back to normal, when you look at how incredibly frightening our normal is.
Vince is the author of Einstein’s Shutter and other works that can be found HERE.